3. The Chelsea Hotel
Smith brought Mapplethorpe to the Chelsea Hotel and gave the manager some of their artwork as a promise of future payment for the hotel’s smallest room, 1017. They extended their stay for as long as they could in order to stay connected with the intellectual and artistic community they had found there. At the hotel, Smith befriended Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs, and Harry Everett Smith.
She was strongly affected by the artistic presence of the poet Dylan Thomas, who had died during his residency at the Chelsea Hotel over a decade before. At one point, she ran into Salvador Dali, who declared that she was like a “gothic crow,” in the hotel’s lobby. When Smith bought her first guitar, she decided that she’d never have to learn how to tune it because she knew so many musicians at the hotel who could tune it for her.